tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS November 20, 2010 12:30pm-1:00pm PST
if. for such a small if i live to a hundred. if social security isn't enough. if my heart gets broken. if she says yes. we believe if should never hold you back. if should be managed with a plan that builds on what you already have. together we can create a personal safety net, a launching pad, for all those brilliant ifs in the middle of life. you can call on our expertise and get guarantees for the if in life. after all, we're metlife. guarantees for the if in life. >> issue one, political potpourri, item, speaker nancy pelosi, minority leader now. why did their leader after the disastrous results of the election two weeks ago? >> because i'm an effective
leader, because we got the job done on health care, wall street reform and consumer protection, the list goes on. because they know that i'm the person that can attract sources, intellectual and otherwise, to take us to victory because i have done it before. >> democrat nancy pelosi speaker of the house of representatives until january, when republican john boehner takes over, has landed on her feet already, moving from house speaker to minority leader. she continues to be the number one democrat in the house, she north carolina congressman heath schuler. 150-43. >> does the victory mean democrats won't compromise? that they want to stick to their progressive agenda sometimes called what, pat? >> liberalism. >> pat buchanan? >> john, the reason she's the minority leader is because
hoyer didn't challenge her, he decided not to. secondly she has will be an extremely effective leader for the democratic party, got through everything obama wanted and then some, and the democrats defied the country which has voted to go in another direction, but it tells us i think pretty much what you said, john, nancy pelosi and the democrat party saw john boehner got to be speaker of the house by leading the party of no to obama spending programs, now they are going to be the part of no, nancy pelosi leading against budget cuts, it's an effective strategy. >> it was a foregone conclusion she would win the post because the democratic caucus is smaller and it's more liberal, the challenge came from the conservative blue dog. the numbers were not there for credible alternative. she's there because she's a fighter and because she's going to hold the ground that president obama seems too often willing to concede. and the effort to repeal health care will be fought in the
house, and i think she's going to be a strong leader on that. the health care reform bill is as much her accomplishment as it is the president's. and she's going to count on republicans to overdo it, and we're already seeing signs of that. they don't want to extend unemployment benefits but they want to extend tax breaks for the rich. so it's going to be fertile territory for liberalism the next two years. >> monica, what do you think? does this show they are not willing to compromise? >> first of all, there are a lot of democrat who is would like to spend the bush tax cuts. let's get this straight. the parties that ran on change in 2008 will be led for the next two years by obama, biden, pelosi, not exactly a lot of change in there and not exactly a lot of hope either. the american electorate a couple weeks ago elected for -- elected a rejection of what nancy pelosi stands for, that big government, big spending agenda. and to have her as the remaining face of the democrats at least in the house and got
harry reid on the other side in the congress is a huge gift to the republicans. because what's going to happen is the g.o.p. in the house of representatives is going to be the real engine of change. every week they are going to put out new bills on repealing obama-care, spending cuts, tax cuts or tax issues, and they are going to force the democrats in the senate to either skull it or kill it or if it does make it to obama's desk, he's going to kill it. very effectively they will turn the tables and make the democrats the party of no. >> democrats will become the party of no. are you with us on this? >> nancy pelosi, even though she's come back, she's won, got her mandate from her caucus, she's going to be a weaker leader this time around. she's an impressive fundraiser, she's been a powerful speaker. but it's going to be difficult for her to corral her caucus the way she has before when lawmakers are openly challenging her. i think it's difficult for president obama, because how is
he going to compromise and show he's making a midterm course correction when he has the same faces still there? >> i'm not sure, for this reason. look, these budget cuts mean the tea party people and everybody in the country voted for them, no doubt about it, but you start going after social security and medicare and unemployment insurance and some of these other things, i don't know that that's the republicans, once they start the actual cutting and going to all that popular. >> okay. item, earmarks banned. both the senate and the house republicans voted to ban earmarks this week. earmarks has become a technical term for provisions allocated for special interests or pet projects. collectively, earmarks are sometimes referred to as pork. as in pork barrel politics. the kind that barack obama knows well from chicago politics. >> in the rush to get things done, had to sign a bunch of
bills that had earmarks in them. which was contrary to what i talked about. >> why did the house and senate republicans move so quickly on banning earmarks? eleanor? >> well, i think the republican leader, mr. mcconnell, said it exactly right. that they have been abused and they have become a symbol of wasteful government spending, even though they amount to a fraction of a fraction of the overspending the government is guilty of. they have become this potent symbol, ultimately the bridge to nowhere, ted stevens, what everybody thinks of. you have the tea party caucus that corralled the votes, went around the republican leadership, and forced mitch mcconnell to do a total about- face on these earmarks. and so it's a fascinating display of the intraparty fight in the republican party. >> and -- >> excuse me, and the same old,
same old republican leadership trying to incorporate -- >> let me ask you this. are earmarks as bad as we think they are? as we say they are? >> as eleanor points out earmarks represent less than 1% of the federal budget. in terms of actual money reel i -- relative to the budget we're not talking about a lot but they are important symbolicically, the gateway drug to more and more spending. the reason the g.o.p. did this, first on the house side, mitch mcconnell was dragged kicking and screaming to an earmark ban on the senate side, it's because they finally got the message, that the american people want the spending rein in and cut. a lot candidates went back and said look at all the pork i brought home. don't you love it? most of the american people said, actually, no, we don't. earmarks are the victim of an unnecessary rage or disappointment. you build a bridge, that bridge is going to affect the
surrounding areas, maybe for miles ahead. it's not going to be only in your state, barring the one in alaska. did you have a land in that? >> no, i was up there. >> when you were campaigning for president? >> they should have built that bridge. >> barring that earmarks in individual states have consequences, whether it's an electrical grid which could feed a surrounding area, beyond the state limit. okay, the g.o.p. snubs obama. congressional republicans said they were too busy to accept the invitation to a bipartisanship leadership meeting thursday of last week. the meeting would mark the first time president obama meets with new leaders since the midterm elections. the white house postponed the meeting until november 30 to accommodate the g.o.p. schedule. question, was president obama trying to lure the g.o.p. into a snare? and did they dodge the trap? >> no, i don't think he was
trying to lure them. i think the president is genuine, talking about bipartisanship, compromise. i think he's being followish in a way to say this so openly that he's ready to compromise. where is the leverage going to come when the meeting actually happens? >> right. senator mcconnell was complaining that he never really met with the president, hadn't gotten any phone calls, and now we've gotten two phone calls, as though they were welcoming this. they are intimidated by the tea party that doesn't want them to do any engagement across the aisle with the president or any democrat, and with all the tea party folks in town, they postponed this meeting. i think they are a bunch of cowards frankly. >> get their ducks in a row. get all the ducks in a row. don't walk down is there and say we're going to work together and compromise. they want to get their strategy down, get their ducks in a row, get together with the tea party and they want to go in with a coordinated position. think they were smart to avoid
the meeting. >> gropes and gripes. >> do i understand the sensitivity of the people? yes. are you asking am i going to change the policies, no. >> the new t.s.a. security policy, full body x- rays. if passengers opt out, they get full body patdowns instead of the x-ray. these measures would have prevented the failed underwear bomber, the would-be attack on christmas day, 2009. the t.s.a. said privacy concerns are overblown, 68 airports have 358 body scanners. should celebrities and political figures be the most concerned about body scanning image because they will wind up on the net, like sarah palin in the altogether on the net? >> are you worried about yourself, john mclaughlin, winding up on the net? what we have is the obama-
napolitano peep show police state. the great irony, after 9/11 president bush put in a series of counterterrorism measures, including guantanamo bay, rendition, wireless wiretapping, and the left went bananas screaming every measure was a violation of privacy and a civil rights -- excuse me, let me finish my point. that every little thing he did was a civil rights emergency. now you actually have a civil rights emergency, in this incredible violation of privacy, and i will say rather than scanning everybody on this panel, why don't we direct the scanning and profiling to the people who are actually trying to -- >> there are some questions about the machines, maybe radiation. those are genuine concerns. you're seen like a stick figure by someone else, you're not identified. the privacy concerns are overblown. >> eleanor, what about amendment 4, the right of the people to be secure in their
persons, houses, effects against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrants shall issue but upon probably cause supported by oath or affirmation and particularly describing the place to be search and persons or things to be seized. >> maybe we ought to worry about ct x-rays and so forth, you never can tell when somebody might put that out. look, this has been done in response to specific airline threats. maybe it's an overreaction, but i think the fact that you're going to be seen, not identifiable, in an office somewhere else by somebody who can't connect it, what are we concealing here? >> is there anything like this going on in new zealand? i know you're living here now but is anything going on in new zealand or in australia, similar to this? >> only if you're trying to fly to the u.s. you have to go through a lot of rigmarole. >> do they have the electronic detectors? >> they do in the u.k. now. there's been a lot of
controversy. maybe you remember diana ross slapped one of the security officials when she was getting groped, they've had this in the u.k. for a while. >> you think this is a perverse refuge now? >> no. if something gets through, they will be accused of security -- >> it's an opportunity for real mischief. >> are you against the scanners? >> the scanners i can understand quite frankly but i think your sarah palin example is a good one. some jerks would take a photo of some gal like that and put it on the internet and stuff like that. it's a real invasion of privacy. >> if you reject the scan and the patdown, $11,000 fine. >> could you get arrested and you have to go to court. instead of scanning everybody why don't we do what the israelis do, behavioral profiling. so grandma doesn't have to go through the naked scanner. >> i don't want to be too
scholarly here. >> we're suggesting everybody. >> here is one of the greatest books published since the bible, the 9/11 commission report. in here, you find a lot of detail about securing identification through permitting inspectors to focus on daily risk, blah, blah, blah. they recommend this kind of scanning but they want an iris scan that cannot be duplicated by anyone else in the world. >> that's a good idea. but look what happened in saudi arabia, as we were talking. this guy put an explosive into his body cavity, his rear end, walked in and tried to blow up a saudi ministry. >> you're not going to get everybody. who won the week, democrats or republicans? one word answ
>> it's a group we've been following, something we've worked closely with yemeni officials to go against and we need to find these individuals responsible, bring them to justice. >> yemen is a country in the middle east that is roughly the size of nevada. it has a coast on the gulf of aden, and lies under saudi arabia. our ally. >> the united states is focusing big on yemen. the goal is to dismantle the islamic terrorist organization, al qaeda, in yemen. earlier this month, al qaeda in yemen sent explosives to the united states. they were inserted into printer cartridges, the explosives were destined for synagogues in chicago. thanks to a tip from saudi arabia they were intercepted in london and dubai. behind the tomorrow was anwar al-awlaki, the radical muslim cleric reveered by islamic terrorists. including u.s. born nidal hasan, psychiatrist who killed
13 comrades at fort hood, texas. al-awlaki was also an imam in falls church, virginia, at the time of the 9/11 attacks. he fled to yemen in 2006 where he is now specifically designated by president obama for assasination. the u.s. military is building several military bases in yemen and augmenting intelligence operatives, the yemeni government is hesitant about u.s. military operatives. across the sea is the republican of jabudi, the u.s. has 1500 troops stationed there. troopsin 2002 to track al qaeda operatives and oversee development projects. is the operational center of al qaeda now in yemen? monica? >> largely, yes. after 9/11 the united states- led forces went into afghanistan and largely disrupted al qaeda in afghanistan. they had to find another base
of operations. some of them went into iraq. we've been able to largely dismantle al qaeda in iraq. and now they found this base in yemen which is essentially a failed state. there's a huge problem between the north and the south, so it's very disjointed, very weak central leadership. al qaeda has found a real home there. i think we've run into a real problem when we talk in the west about the al qaeda threat, we tend to talk about it in geographic terms, afghanistan, iraq, saudi arabia, yemen, when we should be talking about it in ideologic terms because this kind of radicalization is everywhere. >> yemen is not -- >> does anybody go on like that in any part of the world you live in? designating someone for assasination, any citizen of the united states, by the way, al-awlaki. do you think that's okay?
>> no, i don't think it's okay. he is an american citizen, like you say. it's very bizarre that they would target somebody -- >> the aclu mounted a case against this, even though it's distasteful for them to do. >> maggie thatcher had the i.r.a. folks assassinated and the israelis assassinated the guys involved in the munich master. >> by order? >> oh, sure. but yemen is one of the most tribe alizeed societies in the world, 25 million, the population will double in 40 years, break in half, south and north. they have rebels in the north who are shiites as opposed on sunni. the problem with americans, do you go in and do we kill the guys and reduce al qaeda? or do we do collateral damage and create more al qaeda than we kill. >> there's an answer to that. the more we resist, the more the recruitment goes on.
>> if you do collateral damage, the tribes will say we'll pay those s obs back. >> the uss cole bombers when clinton was president came out of yemen. it's a longstanding problem with an afghanistan review coming up at the white house. they have a strategy of propping up governments there's that are not with us but they are not against us. and where the population doesn't like them. that's what we're doing in yemen. then we pretend we're fighting terrorists. >> iswar. we're at war, that's the answer, we're at war. >> are we in that kind of a war? >> dealing with enemy combatant, terrorists that don't wear a uniform of any given nation. to obama's credit, i agree with the assasination order, and the other effective thing he's done, escalate the drone attacks, not just in
afghanistan and pakistan but also targeting in yemen. >> he's functioning as commander in chief. >> uh-huh. >> he's not functioning, so to speak, as president, as commander in chief, he's ordering it because we are at war. does that get us out of the smell? >> no, i think they need to look more at the situation in yemen. it's a good cover for the president of yemen, who is fighting these wars in the north and south, the movement. this provides a lot of cover for him to put down his own political foes, rather than fighting al qaeda. >> the united >> we met at university at st. andrew's. we were friends for over a year first. and it just sort of blossomed from then on.
we spent more time with each other, had a good giggle, lots of fun. >> it was a total shock when it came. so excited. >> euphoria rules in the shock. >> euphoria rules in the u.k., prince william will marry kathy middleton. what explains the american fascination with the royals? eleanor? >> well, they have been together for like nine years, so they are not rushing into it. i think it looks like a fairly stable union, and i think americans are fascinated by the monarchy because they do everything to such excess. given the hard times that the brits are going through, i think they are going to be careful about not spending lavishly, it's going to be a great tourist bonanza, because americans and people all over the world are fascinating by this family. >> let me try this. euphoria is not universal in great britain, however. your question? >> one out of five brits said the monarchy does not cut it
anymore. they want to eliminate the monarchy and replace it with an elected head of state and constitution. these people call themselves, get this, republicans. no kidding. this is why british republicans want to abolish the monarchy. one, it fosters elitism. two, monarchy answers to no one. three, monarchy grants power to the prime minister and privy consul and that power allows either or both to circumvent parliament. four, monarchy is expensive. prince charles and lady diana's wedding cost 30 million english pound, $47 million u.s. the william and kate wedding will lost $60 million. it costs $64 million in u.s.
currency a year not including securitiy and lost revenue, bringing the total to the equivalent of about $300 million u.s. for the brits to sustain the british monarchy. the question, is the monarchy, a, a civic blessing? b, the opiate of the people? or c, an atavitvic throwback in. >> all three. right now it's a blessing because they are making budget cuts, there's a welcome distraction to the news with this wedding. for the people, i think it's an opiate. it's like this here, imagine what's like in the u.k. people are going crazy. they even started printing commemorative plates for the wedding. >> do you have any history there? >> yes, i'm a subject of the queen. >> were you a republican? are you a republican? >> yeah, i'm a republican with a small r, definitely. >> you're against monarchy. >> i am. look how much they cost the
taxpayer, and do they serve aside from being fodder? >> that's republican guillotine. >> are you objecting to the term republican being used by those who are antimonarchy? >> you have a genetic problem with the monarchy that dates back to the potato famine. >> no, i love the monarchy, it's great tv. >> it's got history, tradition, the personification of the british nation. it's got enormous amounts to it. do you want to make it another dull democracy? >> it puts bread on your table, you know that. >> i'm an empire man, john. >> monarchy is great. >> it seems kate middleton is a better subject for adulation than bristol palin on "dancing with the stars." we have our own worship in the states. everybody is entitled to
someone to look up to. even if it's silly. >> it also brings money in tourism. our own american fascination goes back to the fact that we broke away from this. >> where is the coronation going to occur? westminster cathedral. americans can't wait to see it. >> she toured westminster last week. >> it's a period drama. that's >> predictions, five seconds. >> beer >> republicans will defund the office of congressional ethics that was it established by pelosi. >> the republican governors especially the newly elected ones in pennsylvania, ohio, michigan, wisconsin and maine will lead the charge against obama-care. >> i predict when the u.n. secretary general decides to